The announcement of Apple’s subscription video on demand service is imminent . You just have to look at the invitation that the company sent yesterday to the press to call an event on March 25 : “It’s show time”, says the text, which is also accompanied by an animated gif , as if the the beginning of a movie.
In the event of the 25th possible updates are expected Airpods , the iPad and could even get that version of Apple News payment of which so much has been spoken in recent months , but without doubt the great protagonist, and the invitation it confirms it, it will come in the form of a video service. Apple has been announcing projects for months, signings of actors and great personalities of the cinema and the series to launch their own rival of “Netflix” .
In fact, in the event of the 25th there will be a strong presence of Hollywood stars and personalities, according to Mark Gurman , and we will also see the first trailers of the exclusive content of Apple, according to Variety .
All the projects Apple has running for its service
That Apple is going to bet on its own video contentis no secret. In 2017 they already said that they would spend $ 1 billion to acquire and produce their own series and movies, and in fact at that time they hired Jamie Erlicth and Zack Van Amburg, former Sony TV executives, to lead this effort.
Unlike what happens lately with the products of Apple and most brands, which are almost completely leaked long before the presentation, the case of Apple’s streaming service is quite peculiar: Apple has not announced officially yet and there have not been many leaks about how it will be ( yes the odd rumor, although very little concrete ). But, during the last two years, there have been many projects that the company has announced.
These are the confirmed titles in which Apple is already working for its new video service:
- ‘Foundation’ : adaptation of the popular Asimov saga, and perhaps one of Apple’s most anticipated projects . The makers of the adaptation are David S. Goyer (‘Blade’, ‘Batman’) and Josh Friedman (‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’).
- ‘For All Mankind’ : with Ronald D. Moore (‘Battlestar Galactica’) as the main culprit, it is a dystopian drama about what would have happened if the space race had never stopped.
- The Morning Show : Jennifer Anniston (‘Friends’) and Reese Witherspoon (‘Walk the Line’, ‘Big Little Lies’) will produce and star in this new drama. They will also be accompanied by Steve Carell (‘The Office) as a co-star. It will tell the story of a group of journalists working in a morning program. Two confirmed seasons of ten episodes each.
- ‘Are You Sleeping’ : Drama produced by Reese Witherspoon about the world of true-crime , podcasts based on these crimes that are now so fashionable and what happens when the search for justice in these cases becomes public.
- ‘Little Voice’ : a somewhat strange combination, with Sara Bareilles (singer and actress) and JJ Abrams (‘Lost’), which they define as “a love letter” to the musical diversity of New York.
- ‘Amazing Stories’ : revival of Steven Spielberg’s anthology of horror and science fiction, which also participates in the project. It will have 10 episodes.
- ‘See’ : Steven Knight (creator of ‘Peaky Blinders’) and Francis Lawrence (‘The Hunger Games’) will be in charge of this futuristic “epic” drama of which there is little more detail. With Jason Momoa (‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Aquaman’) as the protagonist.
- ‘Defending Jacob’ : new series starring Chris Evans (‘Captain America’) based on the book of the same title about the prosecutor who investigates the murder of a teenager and discovers that his own son is involved in some way.
- “My glory was I had such friends” : drama with JJ Abrams (‘Alias’, ‘Lost’) and Jennifer Garner (‘Alias’) at the controls, which also the actress will star in. It is based on the memory of Amy Silverstein and tells the story of a group of women who accompany Silverstein in the hard experience of waiting for a second heart transplant he needs to continue living.
- ‘Nevelot’ : with Richard Gere as the protagonist (his first series). It tells the story of two Vietnam veterans and what happens to them when the woman they both had been in love with in their youth dies.
- ‘Dickinson’ : comedy period in which Hailee Steinfeld (‘Courage’) gives life to the young poet Emily Dickinson and Jane Krakowski (’30 Rock ‘) plays his mother.
- ‘Little America’ : Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon (both responsible for ‘The Big Sick’) prepare this anthology about a small group of immigrants in the United States.
- ‘Swagger’ : Kevin Durant, popular NBA player, produces the series that is based on his own life and focuses on the beginnings of his career within the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
- ‘Magic Hour’ , which is inspired by the real story of Hilde Lysiak: a 9-year-old girl with a vocation as a journalist who wants to uncover the mystery of an unsolved case that affects her own family.
- ‘Central Park’ : an animated series by Loren Bouchard (‘Bob’s Burgers’) in the form of a musical comedy about a group of people who work in Central Park and not only end up saving the park, but also the world.
- ‘Snoopy’ + STEM : with the characters of Snoopy (yes, those in the series of drawings) they are going to do a new series in which mathematics and science have an important role, centered on the conquest of space. There will also be other series and products taking advantage of Apple has done with the rights of the characters.
- ‘Calls’ : international production that will adapt the French project of the same title. Here you can see the trailer of the French original and its peculiar slogan: “the series that is heard”. An innovative and original narrative to tell small stories in which the visual is very simple and the audio carries all the weight.
- ‘Home’ : a documentary series that will visit “extraordinary homes” around the world.
- ‘Pachinko’ : chronicle of four generations of the same Korean emigrant family and their lives between Korea, Japan and the USA.
- Thriller without title of M. Night Shyamalan : nothing is known of this series, except that it is a thriller, it will have 10 episodes and M. Night Shyamalan (‘The sixth sense’, ‘The protégé’) is in charge.
- Robot McElhenney and Charlie Day ‘s untitled comedy (‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’) about a group of very different people working in a video game development studio.
- Drama without title with Brie Larson as protagonist on a young agent of the CIA, based on the book ‘Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA’.
- Damian Chazelle’s untitled series (director of ‘La La Land’), which he himself will direct and write, of which no further details are available.
- ‘On The Rocks’ : it will not be a series, but Apple’s first original movie. With Sofia Coppola directing and Bill Murray and Rashida Jones as protagonists, will tell the story of a young mother who reconnects with his father, a whole “playboy”.
- ‘Hala’ : it is not an original film of Apple, but they have bought their rights exclusively. Produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, tells the story of a young Muslim teenager who has to live between the traditional that is his family and the “modern” that is his institute.
- ‘The Elephant Queen’ : documentary about elephants, recorded for four years. Here the trailer. It is not original of Apple, but it has bought the rights.
- ‘Wolfwalkers ‘: another film, in this case of animation, that Apple has bought to broadcast exclusively. It tells the story of a hunting apprentice and that mixes magic, nature and mythology.
In addition to the confirmed projects, Apple has others in process and has been “signing” different personalities of film and television to develop content for them exclusively :
- Jason Katims (‘Friday Night Lights’, ‘Parenthood’, ‘About a Boy’): will go on to develop projects for Apple starting this summer.
- Justin Lin (director of several installments of ‘The Fast and Furious’): will produce series “with a global perspective” for the new platform.
- Kerry Ehrin (co-creator of ‘Bates Motel’): among other things she will be in charge of the series of Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon that we said before
- Oprah Winfrey : the popular presenter will create “original programs in which she will demonstrate her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world,” according to the official announcement .
The controversy: the “touch Apple”
While there are not many more details than those ambiguous descriptions of Apple’s future content, it is not clear to what extent the company is exercising creative control of them. After all, Apple is especially known for restricting the content you can buy (and can not buy) in your app store, for example. Will they also adopt this model with their series?
It is a controversial report published by the newspaper The Wall Street Journal cite sources who say that Apple has asked producers to avoid “gratuitous sex, swearing and violence.” ‘Vital Signals’, the Dr. Dre series, would not be seen on Apple supposedly for that reason.
In this article they also give an example, citing sources working on the project: in the series of M. Night Shyamalan, Apple would have asked, according to these sources, to remove the crucifixes that appeared in the house where the protagonists live. They did not want any mention of religion. They also attribute to this control important changes that have taken place in other projects: for example, the change of showrunner in the series of Aniston and Witherspoon for not being satisfied with the humor, among other things, and change of the showrunners in the reboot of ‘ Amazing Stories’ to believe that it was too “dark”.
The NY Post also has another full report in which they assure that Tim Cook is very aware of the development of his content that is giving feedback and sending notes to the creators frequently, something that bothers some agents of the entertainment industry, unaccustomed to deal with the great technologies and their conditions.
While the descriptions of the current projects do not give as much information as to know the general “tone” with which we will meet (or if, in fact, there will be some general “tone”), Apple has other projects in development (not yet confirmed ) that would potentially clash with this philosophy , such as a series about a former heroin addict who smuggles weapons in Afghanistan and another about the life of George Michael.
Platform and catalog
It is not expected, according to rumors , that Apple’s service is a Netflix to use. In addition to Apple’s original programming, some point out that the service will include content from other services to which the user may also subscribe if he so wishes to see all the content from the Apple app. No, they will not include Netflix, CNBC assures that Starz, CBS and Viacom will offer subscriptions through it.
One of the big questions is whether HBO will finally be one of those additional subscriptions offered by Apple’s service: although at first there seems to be no agreement between the two companies, Bloomberg says today that it may be included, although they warn that it is still this and other alliances are being negotiated.
This is similar to what Amazon already offers with Amazon Prime Video Channels , but it is something that currently works in the United States and not in Spain, where these subscription services do not exist and where the international rights of the contents are usually sold to other companies. . For example, in Spain Movistar has exclusivity for the Showtime series (which belongs to CBS).
Note that all the series that we mentioned previously are in the production phase and it may take a few months to arrive , so we can not rule out a “discrete” launch of the service as far as its own programming is concerned. Then, the catalog that the rest of Apple’s partners could contribute in their new adventure would be especially important.
The two unknowns: price and availability
The prolific filtering Mark Gurman ensures that the service will be paid and will see the light in summer, but says there is nothing definitive yet. In CNBC, however, bet on another of the rumors that have been heard : any user who owns an Apple device could see their exclusive series for free, having to pay exclusively if you want content from others. At least at the beginning, since the idea, according to said source, is to find “strong” titles with which to be able to make a payment service in the future.
Although the price is not clear, it does seem to be more where the future service can be seen. Apple devices, of course, but it seems no accident that for the first time this year Apple has decided to bring Airplay to the operating systems of major TV manufacturers . With this movement, from any Apple device you can send content to these televisions.
In addition, Samsung has the exclusive of the iTunes app for televisions until the summer , and the fact that they are talking about exclusive with expiration date suggests that later could reach the rest. Why now and not years ago? The new service has all the guilt of being the culprit, so I would not rule out a native app for TVs either.
Finally, there is the unknown date . They will present it on March 25, yes, but we do not know when they will activate the service. At the beginning there was talk of spring , while CNBC now says that during the month of April, Mark Gurman saysthat possibly for the summer and Variety goes even further and says it could be delayed until autumn.